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Dec 5, 2006 05:21 PM

where to buy confectioners' sugar?

I cannot find this in my local Dominion or Loblaws. Does anyone know where I can purchase it? Icing sugar contains cornstarch and will not do...Much needed for Christmas baking...

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  1. Is there a bulk barn near you? They have everything!

    1. I agree with sweetie that you should be able to find it at the bulk barn.

      1. Sorry, just out of curiosity I did a google search, because I didn't realize there was a difference between confectioner's sugar and icing sugar. Every search I have found seems to say that they are the same and that either one can have cornstarch added. For example, this excerpt is from Wikipedia:

        Powdered sugar, 10X sugar, confectioner's sugar (0.060 mm), or icing sugar (0.024 mm), produced by grinding sugar to a fine powder. The manufacturer may add a small amount of anti-caking agent to prevent clumping — either cornstarch (1% to 3%) or tri-calcium phosphate.

        And from What's cooking in America:

        Perhaps you can check the icing sugar again - maybe some brands do not contain cornstarch?

        3 Replies
        1. re: pescatarian

          I did ask about this at the store. Since Redpath sugar was sold they are unable to get confectioners' sugar. The icing sugar bag does indeed indicate cornstarch. I also searched re: confectioners' sugar but I think most people assume that icing sugar is pure and would be surprised that it contains starch. Too bad - I am trying to make perfect sablés which call for confectioners' and in this case I feel I should be a purist!

          1. re: sandyca

            Interesting. Do you have a baking specialty store in your neighbourhood? I would check the bulk barn too though as mentioned above.

          2. re: pescatarian

            I wondered the same thing as pescatarian. Confectioners sugar is regular sugar that has been very finely ground with 1% to 3% cornstarch added to prevent caking. I tried searching for "confectioners sugar without cornstarch" and pulled up a reference to "glazing sugar", so maybe looking under that name might help?

          3. This is what I found:
            Confectioners' or powdered sugar is granulated sugar that has been crushed into a fine powder. To prevent clumping, a small amount (about 3 percent) of CORNSTARCH is added. Confectioners' sugar labeled XXXX is slightly finer than that labeled XXX but they can be used interchangeably and both may need to be sifted before using. Because it dissolves so readily, confectioners' sugar is often used to make icings and candy. It's also used decoratively, as a fine dusting on desserts. One and three-quarters (packed) cups confectioners' sugar equals 1 cup granulated sugar. Confectioners' sugar is called icing sugar in Britain and sucre glace in France.

            1. just to agree and add to everyone else:
              I have always known (from cooking school and industry work) icing sugar and confectioner's sugar as interchangeable products - i always thought it was a terminology difference. we did learn that it was about 3% cornstarch added because finely ground sugar (due to its hydroscopic properties) required an anti-clumping/caking agent. i don't believe you can get finely ground sugar that is 'just' sugar.
              as a side note, there is also a product known as no-melt icing sugar or 'donut' sugar, you do not want this product as it has an even greater percentage of cornstarch (i don't know how much).
              if you want just sugar, i would recommend grinding some in a coffee grinder and see how fine you can get it.